PUBLIC health officials say coronavirus outbreaks in the community are not uncommon at this stage of a pandemic after a cluster of cases were found in south Shropshire.

Shropshire Council and Public Health England confirmed on Friday (July 24) there had been three coronavirus cases found at a caravan site near Craven Arms, with testing ongoing.

Rachel Robinson, director of Public Health for the county, said: "We've got a situation we're dealing that we're dealing with our colleagues at Public Health England and our local NHS organisations at a caravan site near Craven Arms," she said.

"We have been notified of an outbreak there which is linked to the outbreak that people may have seen publicised in Welshpool."

She added: "We do expect that at this stage in the pandemic to see cases in our community and we will see outbreaks in our communities, it's not uncommon at this stage in a pandemic."

Initially, two cases were found and officials said there was good cooperation with residents on-site.

Some 40 residents have been tested, and all on the caravan site have been asked to self-isolate with members of their household for 14 days.

This means that residents of the site are asked to remain in their homes during the period of isolation and stay within household groups, to reduce risk of spread within the site and the wider community.

"Shropshire Council is working with its partners in the NHS to work with all those who are affected," Ms Robinson added."

"We're obviously providing public health advice, protection advice, support and guidance. We're asking all residents to isolate and stay within their household groups until the infectious period for the disease has passed.

"We're also working with our communities through our community reassurance team to make sure we provide any essential supplies for residents on the site, food and medication etcetera.

"We're also contact tracing and testing those residents on the site.

A testing site was set up in the town from Saturday (July 25) for any member of the public who has symptoms, but the risk to the general public remains low.

"The risk to the public in general is low. Obviously we've been asking people throughout the pandemic to follow all the guidelines and follow the government advice around social distancing, handwashing, masks, etcetera.

Ms Robinson said: "The risk to the general population is low.

"Anyone who does have symptoms or is concerned, we are asking those people to arrange a test for themselves by booking online or calling through to 119.

"We have made testing available to Craven Arms so it is available for the population.

"Anyone who is concerned or symptomatic we're asking to ring that number of visit our website"

Public Health England figures show that 1,417 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am on Friday (July 24) in Shropshire, up from 1,415 the same time on Thursday.

The health body is now including Pillar 2 tests – those carried out by commercial partners – alongside Pillar 1 tests, which are analysed in NHS or PHE laboratories and which made up the first stage of the Government's mass testing programme.

The rate of infection in Shropshire now stands at 442 cases per 100,000 people, lower than the England average of 458.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 768 over the period, to 297,914.

Shropshire's cases were among the 26,534 recorded across the West Midlands, a figure which rose by 55 over the period.

Cumulative case counts include patients who are currently unwell, have recovered and those that have died.